Python 4:A Leader in Short Range Air-to-Air Weapon Systems

以色列“蟒蛇”(Python) 4:一个短距空对空武器系统的领导者

Date:2016-04-07 Source:israeli-weapons By:Globalmil Viewed:

The Python 4 fourth generation Air-toAir missile, in operational use in the Israeli Air Force , features a novel "no escape volume" performance with a unique aerodynamic configuration for superior agility. The state-of-the-art, high performance seeker incorporates an advanced IRCM & background rejection capabilities. The missile includes a highly effective fragmentation warhead. Python 4 is a very nimble "fire and forget" missile with an improved maneuvering capability. It has an advanced homing head with a lateral "squint" capability which allows it to receive signals from the line of vision of the pilot who sees the enemy plane through a special (Elbit-developed) helmet. The missile receives these signals and hits the enemy plane without requiring the pilot to steer his aircraft at the enemy plane. The Python 4 can be launched at a range of over 15 km, its warhead is over 11 kg, and its electromagnetic proximity fuze is one of the best in the world.
“蟒蛇”(Python)4第四代空对空导弹,在以色列空军操作使用中,特点是一种新的“不能逃避量”性能采用一种独特的空气动力学结构用于优越的敏捷性。最新颖的,高性能自动导引头整合一个先进的红外对抗(IRCM)&背景抑制能力。导弹包括一个高有效破片弹头。“蟒蛇”(Python)4是一种非常敏捷的“射后不理”导弹具有改进的机动能力。它具有先进的寻的头横向“斜视”的能力,使其从飞行员的视觉看到敌机通过特殊(Elbit-发展)头盔线接收信号。导弹接收到这些信号,并击中敌人的飞机,而不需要飞行员驾驶他的飞机向着敌人的飞机。Python 4的射程能够超过15公里,弹头超过11公斤,其电磁近炸引信是世界上最好的之一。
The Indian Air Force has reportedly purchased the Python 4 air-to-air missile. The missile, produced by Rafael, is considered one of the most advanced short distance missiles in the world.
Israel has had the unenviable experience of being surrounded by much larger neighbours most of whom, since 1948, have had an openly declared intention to destroy the Jewish state. Since 1948, the Israelis have fought a number of wars in order to initially survive, and later to secure their borders. In every single instance, air superiority proved to be the decisive factor in achieving both tactical and strategic victories on the battlefield. Current Israeli military doctrine accords the maintenance of air superiority the highest priority. 
One of the consequences of Israel's military experience since the sixties has been to develop a strong domestic capability to design and manufacture modern military equipment and weapons. Indeed their experience in the sixties, when France unilaterally withdrew all support for French equipment in Israeli service, and more recently US dithering over the supply of aircraft has led the Israelis to source as many "consumables" as possible from domestic manufacture. Since the WVR AAM is such a critical component of the air superiority game, the Israelis have been building their own since the early sixties. 
The first Israeli AAM to see production was the Rafael Shafrir (Dragonfly) I in the early sixties, a contemporary of the AIM-9B. It was followed by the improved Shafrir II, in production between 1968 and 1980 and credited with over 100 kills, mainly during the 1973 Yom Kippur war. The third generation Python 3, a contemporary of the AIM-9L/M, was introduced during the late seventies and is credited with over 35 Syrian aircraft kills during the Bekaa Valley air battle in 1982. Both the Shafrir and the Python 3 utilise a similar aerodynamic and control configuration to the AIM-9, but are unique missile designs.  
The fourth generation Python 4 was developed during the late eighties and early nineties, deploying on Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighters during the early nineties. The missile and its associated Elbit DASH (Display And Sight Helmet) third generation HMS were developed specifically to outperform the Soviet Archer/HMS and MiG-29, both of which deployed in the Middle East by the early nineties.  
第四代“蟒蛇”(Python)4在八十年代晚期和九十年代早期发展,九十年代早期在以色列F-15和F-16战斗机上配置。导弹和它联接的埃尔比特(Elbit)DASH (显示和瞄准头盔)第三代头盔瞄准具(HMS)的发展明确地超过苏联射手/HMS和米格-29,两者在九十年代早期在中东部署。
The Python 4 is a true fourth generation missile, designed from the ground up for the demanding requirements of this style of air combat. It employs an all aspect gimballed seeker designed for large off boresight acquisition and tracking angles, and a high tracking rate. It also employs a new powerplant, and unique aerodynamics specifically optimised for high agility. 
The intent of the designers was to produce a missile which can not only be shot from a wider range of angles than earlier missiles, but which can also maintain track on a highly manoeuvrable high G target engaged during the merge or opening phase of an engagement. A passing target on a reciprocal heading can be engaged in most of the forward hemisphere, if the Python fails its first opportunity to hit, it will maintain track on the target and continue a tail chase geometry pursuit on a reciprocal heading to the launch aircraft, running down the target for a tail-aspect hit. The missile is claimed to have sufficient turning performance to defeat high G evasive manoeuvre by any existing fighter aircraft. Existing ACM experience with the missile suggests a typical engagement duration of much less than 30 seconds. 
This capability was achieved by carefully optimising seeker, aerodynamic and powerplant performance.
The seeker was incorrectly reported by US sources to be a cooled two colour rotating reticle design, Israeli sources will only acknowledge that the missile usesa multiple detector array seeker, which has an IRCCM (ie IR ECCM) capability and the ability to reject background IR radiation. Typical two colour seekers (eg FIM-92C Stinger) use an Argon cooled InSb 4 micron IR detector and a Si or GaAs UV detector. Valid aircraft targets have a low UV signature and a high IR signature and this enables the Stinger to easily reject spurious targets such as flares. The Python 4 seeker has been credited with significantly better acquisition range than that of the AIM-9M, which is consistent with the sensitivity improvement produced by a multiple element seeker. 
导引头被美国来源错误的报告是一种冷凝双色的旋转瞄准线设计,以色列方面的消息只会承认导弹使用多重探测阵列导引头,具有抗红外干扰(即IR ECCM)能力和抑制背景红外辐射的能力。典型的双色跟踪头(如FIM-92C Stinger)使用氩气冷却的InSb 4微米的红外探测器和Si或GaAs基紫外探测器。有效的目标有一个低紫外线特征和高红外特征,这使得毒刺容易拒绝虚假的目标如耀斑。Python 4导引头具有比AIM-9M更好的探测范围,这是一致的采用一个多元件导引头产生了灵敏度提高。
The Python 4 is known to employ digital signal processing techniques in the seeker, as well as a microprocessor based digital flight control system. The use of DSP (Digital Signal Processing) techniques will provide the seeker with better acquisition range than analogue seekers by exploiting the multiple detector elements to full advantage, as well as providing further IRCCM capability and the ability to intelligently manage fluctuating target signatures. A digital flight control system will allow the missile to optimise its flight control laws for the regime of flight, while also selectively choosing the most suitable homing algorithm parameters for the geometry of the engagement. The Python 4 missile employs a unique tailored proportional navigation homing algorithm. As a result of these design features, the Python 4 seeker is credited with the capability to engage and track targets throughout most of the forward hemisphere (the exact figure has not been disclosed, UK sources suggest in excess of 60 degrees off-boresight capability), with a high but undisclosed tracking rate. 
Python 4已知导引头使用数字信号处理技术,以及一个基于微处理器的数字飞行控制系统。使用DSP(数字信号处理)技术将导引头运用多重检测器元件的充分优势提供比模拟导引头更好的探测范围,以及提供进一步的抗红外干扰( IRCCM)能力和智能应付目标特征波动的能力。数字飞行控制系统将允许导弹优化其飞行控制规则用于飞行管控,同时对目标的几何现状也选择性的选择最合适的自动导引算法参数。Python 4导弹采用一个独特的量身定制的比例导引制导算法。由于这些设计特点,Python 4导引头有能力在大部分的前半球来交战和跟踪目标(确切数字尚未公布,英国消息表明超过60度的离轴能力),具有高但未公开的跟踪速率。
The missile employs a blast fragmentation warhead which is triggered by an active laser proximity fuse with a backup impact fuse, a design feature in common in the AIM-9, but different from the Archer which employs a radio proximity fuse. The warhead size has not been disclosed.  
The Python 4 employs a 6 in diameter rocket motor, a feature it shares with the Archer and the ASRAAM. The long burn motor has a tailored thrust profile to achieve optimal acceleration for close-in closing engagements and high energy for terminal phase homing or end-game engagement. Thrust vectoring is not employed, the missile instead utilises aerodynamic design to achieve a high turn rate throughout the its flight envelope.  
Python 4采用6英寸直径火箭发动机,它与“弓箭手”(Archer)和先进短程空对空导弹( ASRAAM)共同特征。长燃烧发动机具有量身定制的推力曲线,以达到优化加速用于接近关闭发动机和高能量用于末端引导或交战结束。没有采用推力矢量,导弹反而利用空气动力学设计实现整个飞行包线的高转化率。
The aerodynamic design of the Python is by any standard the most complex in any existing AAM, and is evidently intended to provide the best possible lift throughout the flight profile of the weapon. A cruciform fixed canard is mounted on the nose to stabilise high angle of attack airflow over the cruciform canard control surfaces, which are used for pitch and yaw control, a technique used by a number of existing WVR AAMs. Roll control is achieved by a small pair of "paddle" vanes aft of the controls. The missile employs highly swept strakes along the fuselage which are intended to improve airflow characteristics over the tail surfaces. The swept tail surfaces are designed to swivel about the fuselage, this is designed to minimise lift induced rolling moments at high angles of attack in high G turns. 
The combination of a long burn motor and complex aerodynamic design will provide the Python 4 with a high sustained turn rate at all speeds, and this will in turn translate into an ability to follow a high G target throughout any manoeuvre. The missile is credited with much better range performance than the AIM-9M, and better maximum G capability than any existing AAM.  
长时间燃烧发动机和复杂气动设计的组合将提供Python 4在所有的速度高持续转弯率,这将转化成一种能力,在任何技术动作下追随高G目标。导弹归功于更好的射程性能超过AIM-9M,和更好最大G能力超过任何现有的空空导弹。 
The Python 4 is compatible with all standard AIM-9 capable launchers, and has been tested and cleared for use on the F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and F-5. The only integration requirement for the basic missile is the replacement of the launcher internal electronic unit with a Python capable design, which retains compatibility with the AIM-9. To fully exploit the missile's capability, a Helmet Mounted Sight is required, which will necessitate the fitting of cockpit transducers and supporting electronics. The DASH HMS supports either an analogue or digital interface. Aircraft such as the F/A-18 will also require some changes to the fire control software, to enable selection of the HMS or radar for missile boresight control. The F/A-18 could carry up to six rounds on wingtip and pylon stations.  
Python 4是兼容所有标准AIM-9发射器,已经过测试,并允许F-15、F-16、F/A-18和F-5 F使用。唯一的整合要求基本导弹是Python能够设计,以保持与AIM-9发射器内部电子部件的更换兼容性。要充分利用导弹的能力,需要头盔瞄准,这将有必要的驾驶舱传感器和配套电子配件。DASH HMS支持模拟或数字接口。如F/A-18飞机还将要求火控软件的一些变化,为了去选择头盔瞄准具(HMS)或雷达导弹瞄准控制。F/A-18在翼尖和外挂点最多携带六枚。
The Python 4 is currently being bid for the AIR 5400 requirement, and the RAAF have acknowledged that captive carry tests were flown by ARDU late last year. No further details have been disclosed at this time.

Main Features  
A fully developed fourth generation missile, tested and proven in the western world 
Superior "agile" aerodynamic configuration optimized for within visual range dogfights 
Radically expands the "no escape zone" up to most of the frontal hemisphere 
Increased range and kinematic performance 
Unique pursuit trajectories; advanced IRCCM capability 
295 cm
50 cm
15 cm
120 kg (warhead over 11 kg) 
Guidance Type(制导类型)
1 x spr. 
15 km

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